How best friends built a wildly successful men’s swimwear brand: Vacay Swimwear

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Best friends who quit their jobs to pursue a men’s swimwear brand have revealed how signing a million-dollar deal with David Jones has seen them become one of the most popular swimming trunks on the market.

Vacay Swimwear launched in early 2017 by founders Jordy Kallios, 27, and Corey Decandia, 28, from Adelaide, South Australia. 

The pair decided to start their own business after noticing a ‘huge gap in the Australian market’ for stylish and affordable men’s swim shorts.

Vacay Swimwear launched in David Jones in 2020 just before the Covid pandemic hit Australia.

Vacay Swimwear launched in early 2017 by founders Jordy Kallios, 27, and Corey Decandia, 28, (pictured) from Adelaide, South Australia

In the last financial year alone, the brand achieved its sales target of one million in revenue and the business has expanded from a small office to a huge warehouse space with employees

In the last financial year alone, the brand achieved its sales target of one million in revenue and the business has expanded from a small office to a huge warehouse space with employees

‘Usually when a brand first signs the David Jones contract they are generally only tested in 10 stores. We were fortunate that the buyer believed in Vacay Swimwear and took a calculated risk with testing us in 25 stores,’ Jordan told FEMAIL.

‘Today we are stocked in all 45 stores throughout Australia and New Zealand and are currently the highest performing male swim brand stocked.’  

‘Vacay Swimwear has gone from strength to strength after we started ranging them at David Jones. The collections possess quintessential style with an Australian design backbone at a competitive price point, which is why I think our customers love it,’ David Jones Menswear Buyer Briar Withers said.

‘Our exclusive collaboration with Vacay, the Byron and Bondi swim shorts, will be launching later this Spring just in time for the warmer months ahead.’

In the last financial year alone, the brand achieved its sales target of one million in revenue and the business has expanded from a small office to a huge warehouse space with employees.  

'Seven figures doesn't come overnight - understanding your customer, remaining open to new ideas, producing the right content and continuing to learn, you can achieve your business goals,' Jordan said

‘Seven figures doesn’t come overnight – understanding your customer, remaining open to new ideas, producing the right content and continuing to learn, you can achieve your business goals,’ Jordan said

The colourful, stylish $79.99 swimwear is now stocked in major retailers including The Iconic, as well as online stores across Europe and Asia with plans to expand to the US. 

‘Seven figures doesn’t come overnight – understanding your customer, remaining open to new ideas, producing the right content and continuing to learn, you can achieve your business goals,’ Jordan said. 

Corey added: ‘I think the lifestyle we as a brand portray creates such a strong brand identity for us, which is ultimately the life Jordan and I love to live… summer and travel! We have always kept this ideology as our core focus in everything we do.

The business idea sparked during their European summer holiday in 2016 as they saw other men wearing bright, multi-coloured shorts - a style that the duo struggled to find back home

The business idea sparked during their European summer holiday in 2016 as they saw other men wearing bright, multi-coloured shorts – a style that the duo struggled to find back home

‘I see a lot of brands get lost because they are trying to be too many things. We know who we are, the brand for the travelling man.’

The business idea sparked during their European summer holiday in 2016 as they saw other men wearing bright, multi-coloured shorts – a style that the duo struggled to find back home.

The pair previously told FEMAIL their achievements weren’t an overnight success, but they have triumphed through continuous hard work and dedication to the brand.

After returning home from their overseas trip, Corey and Jordy started designing and making shorts for themselves and a few friends. 

While both founders studied marketing at university prior to starting the brand, neither of them have a background in business or textiles. 

Today they are proud of what they have achieved over the short period of five years.  

The brand started from humble beginnings working from a kitchen then to a small office space

Today they operate from a huge warehouse with employees

In the last financial year alone, the brand has turned over $2.4million and the business has expanded from a small office to a huge warehouse space with employees

‘We had no idea about manufacturing, dress making, sewing or what it takes to run a business, so there was a lot of trial and error at the start,’ Jordy said.

‘But we kept persisting and changing the sample pieces until we made the perfect fit that we wanted.’ 

Jordy said the product development process took up to eight months to complete to ensure their swimwear met the highest possible market standards. 

Since the beginning of business to the present day, the pair design and lead the creative direction of the brand.

Both Corey and Jordy have committed themselves full time to the business to grow the brand further and allow it to reach a maximum potential. 

The $79.99 shorts are quick drying, on-trend and can be worn at the beach, poolside or the bar

The $79.99 shorts are quick drying, on-trend and can be worn at the beach, poolside or the bar 

The $79.99 shorts are quick drying, on-trend and can be worn at the beach, poolside or at the bar. 

Each print is named and inspired by the world’s most iconic holiday destinations – such as Bora Bora, Mykonos, Miami and Ibiza.

In addition to the popular shorts, the brand now sell t-shirts, 100 per cent linen shirts and caps that compliment the shorts.

Corey said the brand usually launches two drops per year to cater to both the Australian and European or American summer, and each release features new prints they haven’t sold previously. 

Each print is named and inspired by the world’s most iconic holiday destinations – such as Bora Bora, Mykonos, Miami and Ibiza

Customers and reality stars alike have been spotted wearing the shorts (Former Bachelor Jimmy Nicholson pictured)

Each print is named and inspired by the world’s most iconic holiday destinations – such as Bora Bora, Mykonos, Miami and Ibiza 

Eight months post-launch, Vacay Swimwear found themselves stocked on Australia’s largest online retailer, The Iconic, followed by Asia’s equivalent Zalora.

‘We were so excited be stocked on a platform like The Iconic, because it was one of the goals we had from the start,’ Corey said.  

The bright swim shorts can also be found in over 60 store locations around Australia, Indonesia and the Middle East. 

In August 2020 the South Australian brand was stocked across 25 David Jones stores - another milestone achievement to date

In August 2020 the South Australian brand was stocked across 25 David Jones stores – another milestone achievement to date

'There's no secret formula to success - it's all hard work, persistence and dedication,' Jordy said. Corey added: 'Knowing that we built the business from absolutely nothing and now the brand is globally recognised is an amazing feeling.'

‘There’s no secret formula to success – it’s all hard work, persistence and dedication,’ Jordy said. Corey added: ‘Knowing that we built the business from absolutely nothing and now the brand is globally recognised is an amazing feeling.’

When asked what’s next for Vacay Swimwear, Corey said they aim to continue to grow the brand internationally in the American and Middle Eastern markets.  

‘There’s no secret formula to success – it’s all hard work, persistence and dedication,’ Jordy said.

Corey added: ‘Knowing that we built the business from absolutely nothing and now the brand is globally recognised is an amazing feeling.’

‘Now that the world has officially opened up and travel is back on the cards, we are partnering with a large global hotel chain which is renowned in Europe and America – stay tuned as we have exciting plans up our sleeves. This is going to be huge.’

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